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Russia's NW Region Promotes 'Year of Russia' in China
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Russia's northwestern region of Vologda held an economic and cultural promotion conference in Beijing on Monday, the first of a series of regional promotion conferences to celebrate the "Year of Russia" in China.

Addressing the conference, Vjacheslav Pozgalov, the governor of Vologda, said he and his party not only bring to China Spring Festival greetings and traditional arts, but also economic projects covering areas including metallurgy, forestry, and finance.

He said Vologda has conducted cooperation in metallurgy, chemical industry and agriculture in China and hoped that cooperation would be enhanced.

At the conference, representatives from northeast China's Jilin Province and Vologda signed an agreement on developing regional cooperation ties.

Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Razov said the celebration of the "Year of Russia" in China in 2006 and the "Year of China" in Russia in 2007 is highly conducive to improving mutual understanding between the two nations.

A formal opening ceremony of the "Year of Russia" will be held during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China in March, he added.

Regional and local exchanges, as the pivotal parts of the China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination, will push forward the partnership, Razov said, adding that some 60 pairs of cities or provinces in Russia and China have forged friendly ties.

Located in the northwest part of Russia, Vologda covers an area of 145,700 square kilometers. It has a population of 1.25 million.

According to statistics provided by the Russian Embassy in Beijing, export volumes from Vologda to China in 2005 were 14 times that in 2000, while import volumes were double.

(Xinhua News Agency January 24, 2006)

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